Logistics Park Kansas City could add 771 acres, 268-job manufacturer

NorthPoint Development is moving full throttle to prepare different tracts of land for development in the second phase of Logistics Park Kansas City in Edgerton — including space for a new manufacturing/distribution center dubbed Project Polaris.

Some corners of the expansive master-planned logistics hub could break ground — or crush rocks — faster than others, marking a potential explosion of industrial growth for the Riverside-based developer.

Edgerton City Council members on Thursday could express intent to approve as much as $238 million in industrial revenue bonds for Project Polaris, a 600,000-square-foot facility on 79 acres northwest of 213th Street and Kill Creek Road.

The bonds would finance project costs and provide for a 10-year, 100% property tax abatement plus a sales tax exemption on construction materials. NorthPoint would make annual $96,000 payments in lieu of taxes.

Submitted documents do not specify a tenant for the facility, which is anticipates creating 268 jobs, according to a city-commissioned cost-benefit analysis.

On Tuesday, the Planning Commission approved temporary periods for Haupt Construction to crush on-site limestone at that same corner, in preparation for Project Polaris, as well as just north of an existing Hostess Brands LLC facility for Inland Port 52, a planned 1,007,321-square-foot industrial building.

At Thursday’s meeting, council members also are scheduled to vote on 12 industrial rezoning measures, spanning a collective 771 acres bounded generally by Interstate 35 and 215th Street north to south, and Homestead Lane and Moonlight Road west to east. That would bring the property available for the area’s largest industrial park to 3,000 acres.

City planners last month recommended denial of seven measures, covering about 636 NorthPoint-owned acres that the City Council annexed into Edgerton from unincorporated Johnson County in December 2020.

The Planning Commission discussed economic and traffic effects from future industrial uses and fielded about 30 protest petitions from area residents, several involved in a grassroots movement to prevent a loss of agricultural space near their homes.

Development plans for those tracts have not yet surfaced in city documents, but an original park master plan depicts as much as 9.68 million square feet of construction on 11 industrial buildings.

However, the planners “did not include any findings or information” contextualizing their votes to deny, city staff advised the City Council. That report recommended returning the recommendation to the Planning Commission, “without any additional public hearing,” to provide support for its initial denial of the seven items.

On the other hand, planners recommended approval for the other five rezoning measures, encompassing about 135 acres annexed in March 2018, including land slated for Project Polaris.

Since opening in 2013, Logistics Park Kansas City has created 4,600 direct and 12,696 indirect jobs in Edgerton, according to city documents.

Served by BNSF Railway, the industrial park has seen more than 14.4 million square feet of distribution space built for more than 20 tenants. The park has capacity for 17 million additional industrial square feet, its website shows.

Tenants within Logistics Park Kansas City’s second phase include Hostess and Kubota Tractor Corp., which in 2018 acquired 203 acres for its new North American Distribution Center.

Elsewhere in the park, PepsiCo Inc. last year leased 952,956 square feet for a Gatorade distribution center.